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Developing a Software Design with Access

Developing a Software Design with Access

We had the need for a quick software interface design this past weekend and came up with Microsoft Access as an easy way to layout the forms and add comments which will eventually become the help topics. We could have also utilized Visio or Visual Studio 2008 but the quickness and ease of Access Forms made the process simple. We didn’t use any wizards but opened blank forms widows and began dropping text box and labels as needed.

Grid Control Look-A-Like

Buttons were just as simple with all the text available through the graphical interface itself. We expanded text boxes on the far right to add in directions and help information for the developer. Creating a grid was the most difficult part but by using a series of list boxes on top of one another, the design greatly resembled a compiled and running grid control.

Paint.Net and Screenshots

Plus saving the work and creating screenshots with Paint.Net was super simple. Editing is just as easy with the ability to open the Access mdb file, modify a form, save it, and capture it to an image using the Windows Print Screen facility and Paint.Net. This was the first step in a software development project we have begun with a freelance developer from outside the country. I will keep you updated on the progress of the project and present the final product to you in mid-August.

DotNetNuke Module Development

DotNetNuke Module Development

If you are looking to get started developing DotNetNuke (DNN) custom modules, a couple of good resources are available to aid in the endeavor. DNN Creative Magazine offers a number of of video tutorials on module development which you can access once you create an account with the magazine’s website. Another good source I found was presented by ADEF with an introduction in addition to using LINQ, DAL+, and Creating a Full Complete Module.

I had hoped to hire out the development of a number of DNN custom modules through the online freelance service, eLance.com. But my first project posting related to software development did not return the kind of developers I was seeking. I am now looking to either spend the time myself to developed the modules or seek out additional resources for this development. I have heard good things about ODesk.com, therefore that will be my next stop in my DNN Module Development project.

AJAX Toolkit at ASP.Net

AJAX Toolkit at ASP.Net

If you are not familiar with the AJAX Toolkit available at Asp.Net then you should take a look. You can download the toolkit from this site but also take a look at a number of samples in action. The AlwaysVisibleControl is an interesting one that will take an area of code and allow it to hover over the page in a certain predefined area. The DragPanel is very nice also, allowing a listbox or other control to be drug around the page and docked in temporary locations.

ModalPopup

The ModalPopup is a feature that a number of blogs are now utilizing to collect user data when you arrive at their page. If you have a newsletter that you believe your guests would be interested in receiving, you can popup a modal window and make them interactive with the window before they access any other part of your site. A little annoying but useful for building a newsletter email list.

WAP Requirement

It’s quite amazing the number of affects that are available within the toolkit. The Rating example, Reorderlist, and Resizeable control are quite impressive. There’s a rounded corners solution and a slideshow. We will probably implement the slide show example for a recent news area that we have on our site at work. There is one perquisites for using the toolkit and that is having VS 2005 Web Application Projects (WAP) update installed. It is available for download on the AJAX Toolkit Codeplex site.

Selecting the Top 2 Meeting Dates from Separate Records

Selecting the Top 2 Meeting Dates from Separate Records

I wrote this short SQL Server code today to select the top 2 meeting dates and combine them into a single record. Using a temporary table it was possible to select the first date as one column and then select the second date as a second column. These records will be placed into a grid with the first record representing meeting dates and the second record showing agendas. Therefore the Union All was used to duplicate the first record.

Making your Blog/Site Mobile

Making your Blog/Site Mobile

I have read a number of posts recently about making your blog mobile and found two pretty good versions that anyone can use for their site. The first uses Google Reader to present your RSS feed in a mobile way. And the second creates a more true mobile version with mippin.com and their technology. According to most posts, adding mobile ability to your site increases traffic by a fairly good amount.

Creating Image Buttons that Resize on Mouse Over

Creating Image Buttons that Resize on Mouse Over

We needed to have a different way than previously designed to have image buttons enlarge on hover over that included a text label. So I wrote the code below to fill a table cell with an image and change the image onmouseover. The trick was getting the label to sit right on top on the images and having the images swap correctly. I used a div area to push the label down to the right spot on the image. And then I used some css style attributes in JavaScript to get the image to change when needed.

Adding Widgets to your Wordpress Footer

Adding Widgets to your Wordpress Footer

I have a number of Wordpress blogs that I administrate and some have long sidebars with only one column which become too long for the content contained on the page. I have been looking for a way to move some of the sidebar widgets to the footer but this wasn't an option with the SimpleX theme that I am using. Then I came across Help-Developer.com and there great example of how to add widgets to your Wordpress footer.

Building HTML in the Page_Init Event

Building HTML in the Page_Init Event

In relation to the CSS Rounded Corners that I wrote about recently, we needed to have the rounded corners rendered in the Page_Init event of a user control instead of being part of a markup page. Therefore I researched adding simple Html tags in code and found the HtmlControls.HtmlGenericControl method which creates generic Html controls, obviously. The CSS Rounded Corners Html code is a combination of bold tags mostly with some div tags and CSS classes to go along. Here is an example of the Html for the rounded corners in Asp.Net code behind.

Removing Groups of Posts from the DNN Blog Module

Removing Groups of Posts from the DNN Blog Module

If you happen to run DotNetNuke with the Blog Module as one of your major modules for content, you may find the need to remove a group of posts from the module at some time. For instance, you were active in Paid-to-Post at one time, have received your money from the posts, have fulfilled your obligation with the organization that hired you, but are still being penalized by Google for having the posts on your site. Well, there are only two tables in DNN that you need to query and delete records from to remove these posts permanently.

CSS Rounded Corners

CSS Rounded Corners

I have been creating my own rounded corners using a table structure and 6 images on a couple of web sites that we are building. But I started to wonder if there was an easier way to round corners without all the images and etc. Today I came across benogle and his CSS Rounded Corners demonstration which is one really nice way to create what used to require quite a bit of image slicing.

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 Patrick Stevens
 432  245507  2/15/2018

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